Bodh in India






Largest Religion

Main Language



According to a 1996 source, 2,500 people belonging to the Stod Bhoti language group live along the Stod, Khoksar and upper Mayar valleys in the Lahul region of Himachal Pradesh in northern India. The region has been described as having 'an inhospitable terrain with little vegetation as the area falls in the arid zone. It has very scanty rainfall. Stone boulders and loose rocks keep falling all over and on small patches of terraced fields, which are usually near the river beds.'

The classification of this small group is extremely problematic. In India the government has granted 'Scheduled Tribe' status to the 'Bhotia' and also the 'Bodh' of Himachal Pradesh. These two terms are generic names given to people of Tibetan origin across northern India and Nepal, and they are sometimes even used as a religious designation for all Buddhist people. It is said that the people who came from Tibet prior to 1962 are referred to as Bodhs, while those who have migrated across the border in the past forty years are called Tibetans. The total number of 'Bodh' people within the state at the time of the 1981 census was 22,635. These broad classifications, however, are of little value when trying to determine ethnic and linguistic divisions among the cold and remote mountains in the northern part of the state. Even the 2,500 people living in the three valleys given as the location of the Stod Bhoti (the Stod, Khoksar and Mayar valleys) may constitute three separate language groups and five sub-groups. Stod and Khoksar reportedly have 85 per cent mutual intelligibility, but Stod and Mayar only share 75 per cent intelligibility and there is a mere 62 per cent intelligibility between Khoksar and Mayar. Linguists say that there usually needs to be an 80 per cent mutual intelligibility between the speakers of two languages or dialects in order for them to be able to communicate in a meaningful manner.


Tibetan Buddhism is the preferred religion of all Stod Bhoti people in India, although Hindu influence is being seen more and more. The Stod Bhoti have their own monasteries, temples and lamas. The people are considered extremely superstitious and live in constant fear of evil spirits. They believe that they must vigilantly perform rituals and offerings to placate the deities—otherwise the spirit could take offence and bring disaster on their community.


One source summarized the religious practices of the Stod Bhoti as follows: 'The most learned of the lamas usually belong to the yellow sect and are called Bara Lama or giani (learned). [The Stod Bhoti] have a village deity known as Yu-la who is worshipped and propitiated by all for the welfare of the village. Every Buddhist household has a harsho (long pole) fixed in its courtyard with cloth tied around it. This is kept to ward off evil eyes from being cast on the families. The lamas are the sacred specialists for the community. They also do tana-mana (exorcism), which is locally called kursim. Amulets are also prepared and given by the lamas to ward off the evil eye.' There are no Christians among the Stod Bhoti. They are one of the most unreached Buddhist groups in the world. According to recent research, there were just three Christians in the whole of Lahul District with a population of 13,030.

Profile Source:   Peoples of the Buddhist World, Paul Hattaway  Copyrighted ©   Used with permission  

Prayer Links
Global Prayer Digest: 2010-08-04
Global Prayer Digest: 2012-07-14
People Name General Bodh
People Name in Country Bodh
Population in India 35,000
World Population 36,000
Countries 2
Progress Scale 1.1
Least-Reached Yes
Indigenous Yes
Alternate Names Bhot, Bodriksha, Bodriksma, Chazang, Jad, Ladakhi Bodh, Ladakshadpa, Ladakshpa, Lama, Lamba, Losso, Namba, Nubra, Stod Bhotia, Tinan
Affinity Bloc Tibetan-Himalayan Peoples
People Cluster South Himalaya
People Name General Bodh
Ethnic Code MSY50r
People ID 16433
Country India
Region South Asia
Continent Asia
10/40 Window Yes
Persecution Rank 21  (Open Doors top 50 rank, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
Total States on file:  3  (up to 20 largest shown)
Himachal Pradesh (35,000) Jammu and Kashmir (500) Madhya Pradesh (10)
Total States on file:  3  (up to 20 largest shown)
Himachal Pradesh (35,000) Jammu and Kashmir (500)
Madhya Pradesh (10)

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Enthologue Language Map

Ethnolinguistic map from University of Texas or other map

Languages & Dialects on file:  35  (up to 20 largest shown)
Pattani (8,500) Tinani (7,000) Spiti Bhoti (6,500) Gahri (3,000)
Stod Bhoti (2,100) Hindi (1,300) Byangsi (1,200) Tibetan, Central (1,200)
Chinali (700) Nepali (600) Kinnauri (500) Bhattiyali (300)
Ladakhi (300) Zangskari (300) Pahari, Mahasu (100) Sherpa (100)
Mandeali (100) Panjabi, Eastern (90) Kangri (40) English (10)
Languages & Dialects (speakers if known) - up to 20 shown
Pattani 8,500 Tinani 7,000
Spiti Bhoti 6,500 Gahri 3,000
Stod Bhoti 2,100 Hindi 1,300
Byangsi 1,200 Tibetan, Central 1,200
Chinali 700 Nepali 600
Kinnauri 500 Bhattiyali 300
Ladakhi 300 Zangskari 300
Pahari, Mahasu 100 Sherpa 100
Mandeali 100 Panjabi, Eastern 90
Kangri 40 English 10
For Primary Language: Pattani

Bible Translation Status  (Years)
Bible Portions Yes   (1907-1914)
New Testament No
Complete Bible No
Resource Format
Audio Bible teaching (GRN) Audio Recordings
Oral Bible stories in Pattani Audio Recordings
Primary Religion: Buddhism

Major Religion Percent
82.18 %
Christianity  (Evangelical 0.00 %)
0.06 %
Ethnic Religions
0.00 %
17.41 %
0.26 %
0.00 %
Other / Small
0.03 %
0.06 %

Christian Segments Percent
0.0 %
0.0 %
0.0 %
Other Christian
0.0 %
0.0 %
Roman Catholic
0.0 %
Photo Source: Peoples of the Buddhist World, Paul Hattaway   Copyrighted ©   Used with permission
Profile Source: Peoples of the Buddhist World, Paul Hattaway  Copyrighted ©   Used with permission  
Data Sources: Data is compiled from various sources. Read more

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